There are many rumours floating around about coffee. Some of them are positive, and some of them are negative. Some may have some truth to them, while others are based on zero evidence. One of the more persistent things people say about coffee is that they cause heart diseases.
So is this rumour true? Should you stop drinking your daily Arabica coffee at your local coffee shop? Well, let’s see here…
What Can Be Found In Coffee?
Firstly, there are countless compounds and substances that you can find in coffee. The exact amount and make up of these substances will differ a little bit from coffee to coffee, but they are generally pretty similar. Here are a few of the notable compounds commonly found in coffee:
- Caffeine: one of the most well known coffee contents, it is a substance that stimulates the nervous system. Some effects of consuming caffeine include increased attention, energy, and reduced reaction times. Research has shown that moderate consumption of caffeine can greatly improve overall health and reduce the risk of developing serious diseases.
- Antioxidants: coffees generally contain compounds called antioxidants, which are substances that help prevent the damaging of cells. Antioxidants are crucial to a healthy and long life as they prevent diseases such as cancer, heart problems, stroke, and poor eyesight. Some common antioxidants found in coffee include melanoidins and chlorogenic acids.
- Diterpenes: these are substances that you can find naturally forming in the oil found in coffees. A very high daily intake may increase your LDL cholesterol levels. Some common diterpenes found in coffee include kahweol and cafestol
What Is Caffeine?
Out of all the substances found in coffee, caffeine is probably the most famous of the lot. It is a naturally forming compound often found in coffee, cacao, and tea plants. It is very effective at stimulating your nervous system, resulting in higher alertness and energy levels.
There are some whispers that say caffeine has a detrimental effect on your heart. So are these rumours true? Keep on reading to find out!
How Much Caffeine Can Be Found In Coffee?
The type of coffee bean used, the roasting technique, the brewing method, and the serving size greatly determine how much caffeine is in each cup of joe. Here are the average amounts of caffeine found in different coffees:
- Espresso: 63 mg in one shot (30 ml)
- Brewed coffee: 95 mg in one cup (240 ml)
- Espresso – based drinks (cappuccino, latte, etc): 65 mg in one cup (240 ml)
- Instant coffee: 60 mg in one cup (240 ml)
- Decaf Coffee: 3 mg in one cup (240 ml)
Can Coffee Cause Heart Diseases?
The common theory is that caffeine found in coffee can cause heart diseases in the long term.
Good news for you coffee aficionados: this is largely false!
Contrary to belief, habitual and moderate consumption of caffeine can actually improve your heart’s health! Studies have proven that drinking 1 to 4 cups of coffee (equivalent to around 100 – 400 mg) per day can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by 18%. Coffee lovers who drink coffee daily can also expect a 20% lower chance of experiencing a stroke.
Yes, coffee can temporarily raise blood pressure and cause stomach problems for some people, especially when consumed excessively. However, drinking coffee is overall quite healthy for your body as long as you don’t consume above the amount recommended by experts.
According to experts, the maximum amount of caffeine you should ingest per day is 400 milligrams or about 4 cups of coffee. However, this is only a general amount. Your caffeine threshold may be lower or higher so make sure to listen to your body. Furthermore, children and pregnant women are recommended to only consume a maximum of 2 cups of coffee per day (200 mg caffeine).